Home Authors Posts by Kathryn R. Bown

Kathryn R. Bown

Kathryn - Our health specialist likes to share with the readers the latest news from the field. Nobody understands better than her the relation between healthy mind and healthy body.


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Summer is finally here! At least we think it is, it’s pretty difficult to tell with the weather changing every couple of minutes. Fortunately, one constant we can count on is summer 2018’s range of food trends. This year, the foods of the season seem to have been influenced by creativity, as well as our curiosity about the food staples of different cultures around the world. Whether you’re looking for healthy, cultural cuisine or completely bonkers, indulgent eats, here are just some to choose from this summer.

1. Delectable, Decorated Doughnuts

With every passing year, doughnuts seem to get more and more attention. There was a time when they were simply fried, sugary treats you’d get at a fairground stall or in a paper bag from the supermarket bargain bin, but these days they’re much more popular. Some doughnut aficionados like to decorate their creations with beautiful icing and delicate designs, others have binned the typical strawberry jam or custard fillings to replace them with champagne, matcha and other trendy ingredients. Even traditional doughnuts have seen a reawakening, appearing in decadent milkshakes often known as ‘freakshakes’, often paired with whipped cream, sprinkles and even chocolate bars.

2. Rolled Up Ice Cream

While we’re on the topic of summer sweets, we absolutely have to mention rolled up ice cream. This trend that started in Thailand last year and is completely different to the usual scoops we’ve all come to know and love – both in looks and in flavour. Rolled up ice cream doesn’t just deal in the regular vanilla, strawberry and chocolate flavour staples, it goes for every flavour imaginable – from honey to avocado. There’s even a shop in Orange County, California named Sweet Cup where all they do is come up with fresh new ways to serve rolled up ice cream. Some popular recipes include Matcha Bliss and Rainbow Toad.

3. Middle Eastern Falafel

Over the last few years, Middle Eastern cuisine has become easier to get than ever, often appearing at street food festivals and on menus at restaurants serving cuisine from around the world. Hummus, pitta bread and tahini are just some of the foods you can probably find at your local supermarket, but none are receiving as much attention as falafel. Not only is falafel now available at every store worth its salt, it’s also becoming a favourite dish at Lebanese restaurants up and down the UK. London alone has several falafel-based dishes to offer, with each dish spinning its own take on the Middle Eastern staple.

4. Craft Soft Drinks

Finally, let’s finish up with a drink. While you may be aware of craft beers and craft ciders, did you know that craft soft drinks are now a thing? It’s about time, too: we’ve been stuck with the same orange cordials for a long time and there’s only so long you can only pretend that adding in mango is “exotic”. These new craft soft drinks are often made using natural sweeteners and contain bespoke infusions, many of which seem to have been influenced by winter 2018’s gin trend. Juniper, lavender and hibiscus are a common recipe but don’t be surprised to see even more creative soft drink concoctions showing up at your local café, restaurant or deli.

We’re looking forward to trying all these yummy foods and indulging in the other emerging food fads on the horizon. Have you tried any of these upcoming summer food trends for 2018? Let us know in the comments below!

Iowa has approved an abortion law banning most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Republicans passed the bill in back-to-back votes, sending it to the governor’s desk to sign into law.

If the bill comes into effect it will ban most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, and rights groups say it will be the US’s most restrictive.

Critics argue the bill will make having an abortion illegal before most women even realize they are pregnant.

However, Iowa’s Republican Governor Kim Reynolds has not said if she will sign the bill.

Image source The Blue Diamond Gallery

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In 2017, Iowa Republicans successfully banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The so-called “heartbeat” bill would require any woman seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound to screen for a fetal heartbeat. If one is detected, the woman will be barred from obtaining a termination.

However, some exceptions have been introduced – in cases of rape and incest, where it has been reported to authorities, and to save the woman’s life.

On May 1, Democratic Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell spoke against the legislation on the floor of the Iowa House of Representatives.

She said: “All women, regardless of age, income or race, should be able to obtain reproductive health services, including abortion, free from political and economic barriers.”

Iowa’s Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union groups have also spoken out against the bill.

In an online statement released in February, when the bill was first introduced, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s director of public affairs Erin Davison-Rippey said: “These extreme attempts to ban abortion fly in the face of both medical and legal standards, as well as common sense and public opinion among Iowans.

“So-called ‘heartbeat protection’ bills are actually bans on safe, legal abortion, and they threaten to set reproductive rights back by decades.”


Marriage is a wonderful thing, and being wed to the person you love is the culmination of all that is great about a relationship. However, even the strongest of marriages can endure problems, and cheating is a big issue in modern relationships. After one spouse has betrayed the other and cheated it might seem like there is no way back. But, if you want there to be, you can repair your marriage – it will take work though.

If you feel the relationship is worth salvaging there are options open to you, and you and your partner will have to work on them. It’s essential that you move forward together positively, and try to get the relationship back to what it was before. These are some of the best ways to repair your marriage after your spouse has cheated.

Image source Wikimedia

The best step to take initially is to enter into some sort of couple therapy. This is crucial for voicing concerns and grievances in a controlled environment, and that’s why you have to do what you can to follow professional guidance. You should both agree to undergo some sort of counseling to help you work on your differences and move forward together as a married couple. This is one of the most important ways of helping get your marriage back on track, hence why you need to look into doing it.

You also have to do whatever you can to try to build the trust back as well. After your partner has cheated, this is going to ruin the trust in your marriage. You have to work together to try to rebuild this as much as you possibly can. You’ve already seen the messages, carried out the phone number search, and confronted your partner. They’ve confessed to cheating, and now it’s time for the next stage of the process. Until the trust is rebuilt it is impossible to ever move on or get back to the place you were at before. Don’t forgive unless you are prepared to trust your spouse again.

Another thing that can help a lot is ensuring you make more time for one another. So many married couples drift apart because they are always busy and don’t take the time to be together. This is often what can drive one spouse to be unfaithful, so it is important that you work on this as much as possible. By making more time for one another you can grow as a couple and strengthen your marriage so there is less chance of infidelity happening again.

Cheating can be very destructive in a marriage, but it is still possible to save what you have built together. There are so many different avenues married couples can explore if they want to get things back on track. You have to be willing to forgive your partner’s adultery and work together with them in order to help rebuild and strengthen your marriage bonds. Cheating is never pleasant, but there are things you can do to help repair your marriage after the fact.


In the past, few people wore contact lenses. Today, it is a popular choice. Some information can help you decide if they are right for you.

How To Buy Contact Lenses

You can find lenses in many places, including online. However, the sensible approach is to start with a visit to your eye doctor. The eye doctor will perform a complete examination. If he agrees contacts are appropriate for you, he can provide lenses that meet your needs.

How To Care For Contacts

You can choose between hard and soft lenses, reusable and disposable lenses. If you purchase reusable lenses, they must be cleaned regularly. You should only use the cleaning products recommended by your doctor.

Lenses must be removed before bedtime. They should also be removed before engaging in physical activities. For example, take the lenses out before playing sports.

Do not allow the contacts to get wet. Remove lenses before swimming and taking a shower.

The case must be cleaned regularly. Cases can harbor bacteria. Wash the case daily, and replace cases every three months.

Why Contact Lenses Can Be The Best Solution

Many individuals prefer contacts over eyeglasses. Contacts are easier to keep clean and do not affect your appearance. When they are properly cared for, contacts are not as likely to break or become damaged.

Many people also prefer contacts instead of surgery. There is no pain involved when you are fitted for contacts and none of the risks associated with surgical procedures. Contacts are less costly than surgery.

How To Benefit From Contacts

When you wear contacts, you must make regular appointments with the eye doctor. He will be able to determine if your vision has changed and whether your lenses are in good condition. The lenses must be replaced if they are scratched or damaged. Damaged lenses can harm your eyes.

If you purchase lenses from a source other than your eye doctor, ask his approval before making this decision. While you can buy lenses at discount prices, they are not necessarily the best quality. You should not risk harming your eyes or your vision to save money. This also includes fashion lenses, and lenses to change your eye color.

If you experience any difficulties with the lenses, consult with your doctor. This includes pain or discomfort in your eyes, problems with your vision, and similar issues. If a lens does become damaged, it should be replaced immediately.

The good way before the purchase is to write down some list with your diagnosis, doctor prescriptions, and some personal preferences and then will be able to make decision to buy some kind of lenses based on your problems but not fashion trends. Between that, if you have any problem with writing assignments feel free to advice EssayLab for qualified help.

Contact lenses can do more than improve your vision. They can help you look your best, and increase your self-confidence. Nearly anyone who does not have perfect vision can benefit from lenses.

This form of eye wear is more popular than ever before. Teenagers, young adults, and even older people appreciate the ease and convenience of lenses and improving their vision without the burden of eyeglasses or the expense of eye surgery.

Whether you choose clear lenses, so no one will know you are wearing them, or lenses to make a fashion statement, you can be one of the many who benefits from contact lenses.


The NHS is a national treasure. We use it all the time and never think about the costs associated with our health care. Unfortunately, we are keenly aware of the pressures that our national health service is under. From the perspective of our papers, the NHS is buckling under a lack of funding and according to a recent survey from UK solicitors, Your Legal Friend, 86% of the public is aware of the publicised pressures the NHS is under.

The 2,000 strong survey highlighted an important fallout from this awareness, that we seem to be neglecting to chase up our follow up appointments, or worse, delaying non urgent treatment in order to ease the burden on the NHS. The problem with taking on this burden from a personal point of view, is that you are compromising your health in the process.

Recent NHS data suggested that more people than ever are waiting longer than the official 18 week target for non urgent treatment. According to Your Legal Friend, 80% of us would wait a month before we chase up an expected follow up appointment. So what can we do to be uncompromising when it comes to our health, but still ease the pressure on the NHS?

Image source Wikimedia

  1. Follow up!

Missed follow up appointments can be a huge headache, not just for you but for the NHS. As administrative pressures see more people being exposed to the risks of negligence, it’s important that you stay on top of your own care plan. Ask for important dates during appointments, ask when you should follow up by if you’ve not hear anything and put it all in a diary. You are not being a nuisance!

  1. Keep notes

Keeping a symptom diary before you go to see your doctor shows how seriously you are taking your illness and gives them much more information to work with. The average GP appointment is supposed to be up to 15 minutes. That is a very short amount of time in which to diagnose a problem, keeping a health diary provides both you and your healthcare professional with a reliable account of your symptoms.

  1. Use resources thoughtfully

We’ve all seen the advertisements showing how expensive an ambulance call out can be. Use resources thoughtfully by checking online first to see if you need a GP appointment, a trip to a&e or simply a visit to the pharmacy.


Each year in the UK, more than 70,000 adults receive treatment for a hernia in the NHS. A combination of both men and women experience the often painful and equally concerning medical issue, although adult men are more apt to be diagnosed with a hernia than their female counterparts. While hernia treatment is meant to provide a fix for the discomfort patients feel before seeing a doctor, many are bringing forth complaints surrounding the way in which hernia treatment is performed and the materials used to do so.

Late last year, thousands of women came together to bring suit against medical providers and NHS trusts throughout the region given their less than positive experiences after receiving pelvic mesh implant surgery. Doctors use pelvic mesh to treat prolapse and incontinence in women, but it has come to light that patients experience life-altering changes post-procedure. Ongoing pain, infection, and other uncomfortable side effects run rampant in female patients who have received mesh implants for treatment. In recent months, men have started to come forward with similar complaints, related to the use of mesh in hernia treatment.

Banded Together

Several men have established groups throughout the UK as a form of a support system in the aftermath of hernia mesh treatment. Members of one particular group in Northern Ireland shared the devastating effects hernia treatment has had on their personal and private lives, citing issues with chronic pain, unending discomfort, and hernia recurrence. Some have said the treatment left them with strained relationships while others have felt hopeless in finding a corrective solution to their ongoing pain. The common thread among the men in the group is that they feel as though their voices are not being heard as loudly as women who have faced complications after similar treatment with pelvic mesh. They’re looking to change that reality by banding together.

Hernia mesh treatment is the go-to recommendation for most hernia patients, and that has been the case for several decades. According to the NHS, hernias can be caused by several different factors, including carrying excessive weight, constipation, and other issues that place undue pressure on the abdomen. When a hernia takes place, an organ is essentially pushing through the muscle and tissue wall in the body, leading to a bulge that is both uncomfortable and potentially harmful to the individual. It is common for hernias to develop at the belly button, along the diaphragm or upper stomach area, or the inner groin area.

For men who experience a hernia, mesh treatment is used to repair the muscle or tissue wall that has been torn or damaged. The plastic-like material is placed at the torn area and over time, it connects with the surrounding tissue to keep future damage from taking place. The harsh reality is that, despite being the first course of treatment, hernia mesh repair is not all that successful in some cases.

A Need for Change

A clinical negligence expert team shares that while some hernia mesh treatments are completed without complication, the problems that can arise after the procedure is performed can be life-altering. Chronic pain is the most cited problem, followed by migration of the mesh to other parts of the body. In some cases, the incision site where the mesh is introduced to the body is a gateway for harmful, difficult-to-treat infections that can rapidly debilitate one’s ability to function. For others, the complications are even more severe, including bowel obstruction and new hernias developing over time.

Whether the hernia mesh treatment complications are mild or severe matters little to the men coming together to find support and encouragement. They have all experienced pushback from medical providers in getting an accurate diagnosis of mesh failure or movement post-procedure, and are now forced to live with the pain and suffering of an inefficient procedure. There is no easy fix to a failed mesh repair surgery, but there are alternative courses of treatment that can and should be recommended. At a minimum, men and women alike with hernias should understand the risks and complications of the treatment option, and they should be offered viable alternatives to ensure their health remains intact after the fact.

The children of increasingly younger ages are protagonists in the phenomenon of mobile connectivity. From two or three years old, they begin to lean out on their parents’ phones and to manage theses devices regularly, becoming familiar with their functionalities almost before being able to speak clearly, or to learn to read. This fluid handling usually makes us very funny in such small children, but we should not let them relate to these devices in an uncontrolled way. To make the use positive and the main way to prevent misuse or risk behaviors that can lead to future problems is to get involved in this technology education from the beginning. The key is as much in knowing how to orient the learning, as in not radically prohibiting it.

When to buy your kid their first mobile phone?

The children at a very younger age see mobile phone as a toy that they use to play games, to paint or color, and even watch videos of cartoons. However, as they grow, this playful use gives way to other functions. The phone becomes a device to communicate with. Therefore, the main use of the telephone is to be in contact with parents and, above all, with friends. To have a mobile phone is to belong to the group. The child sees that everyone around him has it and begins to ask for his own terminal, each time at younger ages. Thus, parents suffer emotional blackmail, coupled with some social pressure.

So, when should we buy our kids their first mobile phone? Well, there is no specific age, but you have to look at each case, at the maturity of each child, and at the specific circumstances of your lifestyle that make them need this device. And it is that at certain ages it can be relatively useful, but it is not really necessary. What we should make clear to our kids from the first moment is that the main function of the telephone is communication, and that is why it is advisable to have it.

In this sense, experts recommend that children do not have their own phone before age 12. From this age, they sharpen their need for independence and already spend more time away from us. In addition, access to a new stage in school, Secondary Education, and this is a big change for them. It is now a good time for them to begin to take on responsibilities such as those involved in having their own mobile phone.

To the parents, the device will serve us to be in continuous contact with them, to have them located, and to be able to control their exits. All this becomes possible with the use of the parental controls app such as FamilyTime parental control app that let parents view contact, call history, SMS threads, installed apps, app preferences, app usage frequency, web history and much more. In addition to supervising, parents can also take needed actions.

For example, with the app, parents can watchlist contacts, block unwanted or inappropriate apps, schedule auto screen locks and remotely lock devices, etc.  There is a lot more parents can do with this app in hand. Dp you wish to give the app a try for free? You can! Get the trial version with premium features from the Google Play store and iTunes.

More than 12 million boxes of Lactalis baby formula have now been recalled in 83 countries in a salmonella scandal involving the French company.

Lactalis CEO Emmanuel Besnier confirmed the extent of the contamination risk to French media.

The dairy products have been subject to a recall since December, after salmonella bacteria was discovered at a factory.

Lawsuits have been filed by parents who say their children became unwell after drinking the formula.

According to the company, all the countries affected had been informed, in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. However, the UK, US and Australia were not affected.

The Lactalis group is one of the world’s largest producers of dairy products, with annual sales of €17 billion ($21 billion). It has 246 production sites in 47 countries and employs 15,000 people in France alone.

Up to now, Lactalis has issued three recalls which cover its Picot, Milumel and Taranis brands.

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According to specialists, salmonella can cause severe diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and severe dehydration. It can be life-threatening, especially in young children.

So far 35 cases have been reported in France and another one has been confirmed in Spain.

Another possible case is being investigated in Greece, French authorities said on January 12.

In an exclusive interview in French newspaper Journal du Dimanche, Lactalis chief executive Emmanuel Besnier denied the company had attempted to hide the outbreak at the plant.

He said: “There are complaints and there will be an investigation with which we will fully collaborate.”

Emmanuel Besnier also promised Lactalis would compensate any families affected.

The company has said they believe the contamination was caused by renovation work at their Celia factory in Craon, in north-west France.

France’s agriculture minister said products from the factory will be banned indefinitely whilst the investigation is still ongoing.

The government has warned Lactalis it must expect penalties over its handling of the affair.

On January 11, the government also threatened to impose sanctions against retailers, after it emerged that several major supermarket chains had continued to sell products that could have been contaminated.


Let’s start with the bad news first: pore size is genetically determined, and some people may have larger-looking pores than others. The idea that you can shrink your pores is, unfortunately, nothing but a really prevalent myth. The good news is that you absolutely can minimize their appearance. Here are tips to help you do just that:

  1. Keep your skin clean.

Enlarged pores are caused by a number of factors. Most commonly, they may physically expand as a result of being clogged with sebum, dirt, or a nasty combination of both. These clogs may present themselves as unsightly blackheads or turn into full-fledged pimples.

Keeping your skin clean is your first line of defense against ugly breakouts and blemishes. Use a pH-balanced facial cleanser that doesn’t dry your skin out. You can also look for cleansers with charcoal that possesses the ability to bind with the grime and oil on your face. This ingredient lifts the gunk from the surface of your skin, allowing it to be rinsed away easily.

  1. Invest in a clay mask.

Clay masks are an effective oil control solution, and their effects can last for days. Since excess oil production is one of the most common causes of enlarged pores, investing in a product that will absorb it can only be in your best interests. Laneige’s Mini Pore Waterclay Mask is made with natural mineral mud from the Yellow Sea and mint water which effectively unclogs the pores and de-slicks the surface of the skin. This combination clears your skin of impurities, helps reduce shine, and refines the overall appearance of pores.

Image source Flickr

  1. Make a habit of exfoliation.

Manual extraction is still the best way to clean pores effectively. But if you can’t make regular appointments with your aesthetician, the next best thing is to exfoliate regularly at home. Slough off the surface layer of your skin with a combination of physical and chemical exfoliation. You can use a facial brush with your favorite cleanser, or look into scrubs to mechanically resurface your skin. If you’re after the benefits of chemical exfoliation, look into exfoliants that contain beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). BHAs effectively provide oil control and reduce the bacteria that cause acne.

  1. Anti-aging is for all ages.

As we age, our skin produces less collagen and elastin, which results in sagging, less firm skin. The sagging, in particular, contributes to pores appearing larger. Pores normally have a circular shape, but sagging causes them to shift into a droopy teardrop that is much more visible to the eye.

Combat the signs of aging with retinol and retinoid products, which can be used on the face underneath your favorite moisturizer. Retinol is an anti-aging ingredient that is well-known for fighting wrinkles and encouraging the production of collagen. This ingredient also helps clean out pores and decrease the size of oil glands, which in turn lessens oil production. What do all these mean for your skin? Firmer skin returns pores to the shape they’re meant to be, making them tighter and giving them a much smaller appearance.

  1. Finally, don’t forget the sunscreen.

Sun damage is one of the major causes of premature skin aging and dullness. That’s because harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun break up the collagen in your skin, which is what keeps it tight and your pores small. Invest in a daily sunscreen lotion or cream that can protect your skin from those harsh rays. Anything with a high SPF and broad spectrum should serve your needs fine.

Reducing your normal pore size might be an impossible task, but it’s always possible to keep your pores from growing bigger. Follow these 5 tips and you’ll not only minimize their appearance, you’ll also get healthier skin in the process.


Learn some useful tips for healthy eating for students

Sometimes all that essay writing and all the other assignments keep you so busy that you don’t even have time to eat properly. No wonder that after a few years in school students get digestion issues along with their education certificates. Here are some useful tips that may help you to make sure your diet is healthy, even when your workload is far from that.

So what are the main reasons why it’s hard for students to keep a healthy diet?

  1. Lack of free time
    On the average, you’ll need around 1 – 1,5 hours to cook a proper meal. You’ll probably say that it’s a luxury you just can’t afford – and you’ll be absolutely right. If your schedule is stuffed, one task to complete after another, it’s extremely hard to find as much as an hour of free time. Usually, there are so many things to do students try to do a few things at the same time (like wolfing down some fast food, working on essay topics and answering important emails, all at once).

The only way out of the situation is eating some convenience food or going to fast food restaurants. Needless to say, this kind of food is not the healthiest. Try to eat at least three times a day and avoid grabbing snacks in between your meals.

  1. Lack of money
    Many students just don’t have enough money to buy all ingredients for healthy meals. And it’s not that they are constantly cash-strapped. It’s just that more often than not, young people think they can spend their money on some “more useful” things than quality food (whether it’s a Prada handbag or a custom essay that saves you from trouble). Sounds familiar? Remember: by buying quality food products you invest in your future well-being. So spend money wisely and buy healthy foods.
  2. Downright laziness
    This is maybe one of the main reasons why students keep a not so healthy lifestyle. It’s just that when your workload is overwhelming, you get tired to much that the last thing you want to do is spend time cooking a healthy meal.

    Image source Flickr

Useful tips: how to improve your diet

Tip 1: Learn to cook healthy food

Yes, anyone can cook eggs or warm some canned soup in a microwave. But something like roast chicken and potatoes may seem like mission impossible for many. So how can you improve your cooking skills? Well, there are lots of websites and YouTube video channels that can teach you how to cook healthy and easy meals. Ask your moms and grannies about some cooking secrets. Odds are, you’ll find that cooking is not as hard as you think. It can even be a lot of fun!

Try to experiment. Memorize (or write down) some simple recipes that will help you when you don’t have much time. You can keep ingredients for your meals prepared and packaged in your fridge so you could cook them quickly without spending much time on preparation. You’ll see that very soon you’ll get a knack of it and kill two birds with one stone: keep your diet healthy and do some quality essay writing.

Tip 2: Cook your meals in advance

If you don’t have much time for cooking after your classes are over, learn to cook in advance, for a few days ahead. Isn’t it great to come home tired and hungry, warm some food you’ve cooked a day before and eat without having to hurry anywhere? And it won’t be some low quality convenience food, but your own home cooking!

Tip 3: Take turns to cook

If you live with roommates, it’s probably they have the same diet issues you do. So wouldn’t it be easier to combine your efforts in order to solve your eating issues? Do a sort of a brainstorming session and think of a cooking schedule that will benefit you all. If you take turns cooking healthy homemade food, this will significantly improve your diet and allow you to forget about the lack of time issue. Besides, it will let you save some money too (remember, you might need it for that essay writing service).

Eat healthy, stay healthy – it’s quite possible, even if you are the most diligent student ever.


Rebecca Bredow, a mother-of-two from Michigan, has been sentenced to seven days in jail after she refused a judge’s order to have her son vaccinated.

The woman would not let her 9-year-old boy be immunized after initially agreeing with the father to do so.

Rebecca Bredow’s ex-husband has now been awarded temporary primary custody in order to get the boy the jab.

Michigan parents are legally allowed to skip or delay their children’s vaccinations due to personal beliefs.

However, Rebecca Bredow fell foul of the law because she reneged on agreements with her former spouse dating back to November 2016 to have the boy immunized.

On October 4, she was sentenced for contempt of court after flouting a court order last week to have her son vaccinated.

Image source ABC News

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Rebecca Bredow and her ex-husband decided at the time of their child’s birth that they would space out and delay jabs for their son.

The couple separated in 2008, according to ABC News, but they shared parental custody and the father still wanted the boy vaccinated.

Oakland County Court Judge Karen McDonald said that even though Rebecca Bredow was the child’s primary caregiver: “Dad gets a say.”

Rebecca Bredow, from the Detroit suburb of Ferndale, said in court on October 4: “I am an educated vaccine-choice mother.”

She argued that to immunize her son “goes against my beliefs”.

“I would rather sit behind bars standing up for what I believe in, than giving in to something I strongly don’t believe in,” she added.

Anti-vaccination advocates – whose claims have been widely debunked by the medical community – fear the procedure exposes children to harm, and could be the cause of autism.

According to Mlive, child immunization rates in Michigan are among the worst in the nation, ranking 43rd among the 50 US states.

The federal government does not legislate child immunization, only issuing recommendations while leaving requirements to states or local school districts.

If a parent does not comply with a school’s vaccination guidelines, the child is not permitted to attend school and the parent can be jailed for the pupil’s truancy.


Getting a cochlear implant (CI) helps deaf people improve their hearing. The surgery is not meant to restore your sense of hearing, but to improve it so you can have a simpler life experience. A team of professionals will assess your condition and decide whether or not the procedure will be suitable for you. Also, they will advise you on what to expect.

The procedure involves the implanting of electrical devices that convert sound to electrical stimulation. That way, a deaf person can have the sensation of hearing. The procedure has been highly controversial, although it still comes with its advantages.

How do the Implants Work?

The cochlear is the inner part of the ear and is filled with fluid. It also has small hairs that move in response to sound waves.

Each of these hairs responds to sounds at specific frequencies, and the signals are transferred to the brain for interpretation. Deaf people have this system damaged, but the implants work similarly. The surgery will involve the insertion of a small sound processor that converts noises to digital stimulations.

The converted signals are then sent to a cochlear in which many electrodes have been implanted in the place of the tiny hairs. Each of these electrodes will respond to specific sound frequencies, and the results are interpreted in the brain.

Pros of undergoing a CI Surgery

1) Improves your Hearing

Once you find a doctor, you will be advised on how effective the implants will be. Cochlear Implants improve your hearing, even though they don’t fix it completely. In an environment with little noise, you will enjoy communicating with people without necessarily having to use sign language. In addition to the implants, reading lips will make communication easier.

2) Helps to Prevent Danger

Sounds in nature, on the streets, and even at home help to signal danger. For example, a car coming towards you will honk in an attempt to get your attention. With the implants, you will stand a better chance of getting the signal and potentially save your life.

3) Allows you to enjoy Melodic Sounds

After undergoing a cochlear implant surgery, you will be able to relax to the music of your choice. Sounds in nature will also improve your general life experience.

4) Can give you access to Education

People with complete loss of hearing have limited opportunities in education and even at work. Many schools will charge you a lot more if you are deaf since the condition warrants special attention.

5) Can allow you greater Employment Opportunities

Some employment opportunities may not suit deaf people well since the condition might affect their performance in the given roles. Some improvement in your hearing will, therefore, allow you to live a complete life with more opportunities.

Cons of undergoing CI Surgery

1) Does not work for Everybody

The procedure is not recommended for people who were born deaf since they will find it harder to find the meaning of different sounds.

However, it still does not work well for everyone who became deaf at some point in their lives. It is still hard for doctors to predict the success of their procedures. Some work incredibly well, while others become almost useless. That said, most of the procedures have been successful.

2) It might make People forget about your Condition

Some people will imagine that your condition is gone and that you are now normal, just because you got a CI surgery. That will affect your interactions and general life experience since they will stop making efforts in effectively getting messages across to you. In fact, many patients can only get the sound signals in silent rooms.

3) Is very Expensive

Cochlear Implants are very expensive and are well beyond what most people can afford. There is also a good chance that the implants will be a disappointment and all your money will go to waste.

Also, you will need to continuously change the batteries, replace the wires, and cater to many maintenance costs. It is worth noting that some insurance programs cover the cost of the surgery.

4) The Technology is still underdeveloped

The technology used in this procedure is quite poor. If there are many background noises, a person with CI will not be able to engage in a conversation. This is because the electrodes can send signals to the brain through the same neural populations.

As a result, a lot of confused interpretation will occur in the brain, therefore, making communication harder. That said, scientists are working on improving the technology, and we should see improvements in the near future.

5) Requires Maintenance

The batteries and wires need to be occasionally changed. You also need to remap the sound processor.


Sean Forbes is a 35-year old man who makes rap music, despite being deaf. He has been deaf since he was just a few months old, but none of that is stopping him from living his dream.

Cochlear implants are highly controversial among deaf people. The technology has helped many deaf people experience near-normal hearing once again, although the number of unsuccessful procedures is still very high. Ideally, you should go for a cochlear implant surgery if you spent some years of your life with normal hearing.


According to US scientists, the harmful Zika virus that can cause devastating brain damage in babies could offer up a surprising new treatment for adult brain cancer.

Until now, Zika has been seen only as a global health threat – not a remedy.

However, latest research shows Zika virus can selectively infect and kill hard-to-treat cancerous cells in adult brains.

Zika injections shrank aggressive tumors in fully grown mice, yet left other brain cells unscathed.

Human trials are still a way off, but researchers believe Zika virus could potentially be injected into the brain at the same time as surgery to remove life-threatening tumours, the Journal of Experimental Medicine reports.

The Zika treatment appears to work on human cell samples in the lab.

Image source Wikipedia

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There are many different types of brain cancer. Glioblastomas are the most common in adults and one of the trickiest to treat.

They are fast growing and diffuse, meaning they spread through the brain, making it difficult to see where the tumor ends and the healthy tissue begins.

Radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery may not be enough to remove these invasive cancers.

However, the latest research, in living mice and donated human brain tissue samples, shows Zika therapy can kill cells that tend to be resistant to current treatments.

It is thought that these glioblastoma stem cells continue to grow and divide, producing new tumor cells even after aggressive medical treatment.

Different, healthy stem cells are found in abundance in baby brains, which probably explains why regular Zika can be so damaging to infants, say the researchers.

Adult brains, however, have very few stem cells. This means Zika treatment should destroy only the cancer-causing brain stem cells without causing much collateral damage.

As an extra safety precaution, the research team from Washington University School of Medicine and the University of California San Diego School of Medicine has already begun modifying the virus to make it more tame than regular Zika.

Using viruses to fight cancer is not a new idea, but using Zika as the weapon of choice is.

UK scientists at the University of Cambridge are beginning similar trials with Zika.

A camera that can see through the human body has been developed by the scientists at the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University.

The new device has been designed to help doctors track medical tools, known as endoscopes, during internal examinations.

Until now, doctors have had to rely on expensive scans, such as X-rays, to trace their progress.

The new camera works by detecting light sources inside the body, such as the illuminated tip of the endoscope’s long flexible tube.

Prof. Kev Dhaliwal from the University of Edinburgh said: “It has immense potential for diverse applications, such as the one described in this work.

“The ability to see a device’s location is crucial for many applications in healthcare, as we move forwards with minimally invasive approaches to treating disease.”

Image source MaxPixel

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Early tests have shown the prototype device can track a point light source through 20cm of tissue under normal conditions.

Beams from the endoscope can pass through the body, but usually scatter or bounce off tissues and organs rather than travelling straight through.

That makes it problematic to get a clear picture of where the tool is.

The new camera can detect individual particles, called photons, and is so sensitive it can catch tiny traces of light passing through tissue.

The device can also record the time taken for light to pass through the body, meaning it is able to work out exactly where the endoscope is.

Researchers have developed the new camera so it can be used at the patient’s bedside.

The project is part of the Proteus Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration, which is developing a range of new technologies for diagnosing and treating lung diseases.

Dr. Michael Tanner from Heriot-Watt University said: “My favorite element of this work was the ability to work with clinicians to understand a practical healthcare challenge, then tailor advanced technologies and principles that would not normally make it out of a physics lab to solve real problems.

“I hope we can continue this interdisciplinary approach to make a real difference in healthcare technology.”

The viability of the health care system in the UK has been under fire for some time, with pundits along with patient advocacy groups, citizens, and medical providers all adding to the heated discussion. Each month, it seems new data is published that sheds less than optimistic light on the operations of the NHS, and the latest reports are no exception. In July, details about the success of meeting patient wait time targets was released, highlighting the fact that intended marks have been missed consecutively for the past two years. Accident and emergency units (A&E) throughout the system have failed to meet the 95% target of no more than four hours, leaving between 5 and 10% of patients waiting an extended period to receive the care they need.

Although some argue that patient wait times have improved since targets were introduced, the recent data suggests otherwise. The health care system millions of people depend on each year is under a great amount of pressure from external and internal sources, creating an environment where providing the highest quality patient care, including appropriate wait times, is a challenge. The aging population combined with an increased reliance on emergency units for medical issues ranging from acute to severe means patient wait times may not be realistically lowered in the near future. Other moves within the NHS are also plaguing the success of the health care system throughout the country.

A&E Unit Closures

The missed targets for patient wait times are not the only unsettling news coming from the NHS in recent months. Earlier this year, the closure or downgrade of several emergency units was announced, based on a sustainability and transformation plan set in motion last year. The health care system has been working toward more efficiency in its operations as part of a five-year strategic plan, and a two dozen A&E units are on the chopping block as part of the initiative. This drastic change is meant to force patients to rely less on emergency departments and providers for care that could be managed in a primary care facility, ultimately releasing some of the pressure put on already stretched thin units. Consolidating care facilities is planned by staffing non-emergency facilities with GPs, and tapping into the power of recent technology to provide care options within a patient’s home. Because wait time targets include patients being seen for all varieties of illnesses and injuries, the NHS believes that putting more focus on primary care services will help A&E wait times even as several units close.

Each of these strategies is meant to empower patients to take a closer look at the way they view health care, potentially transitioning the country toward a more preventative mindset. In the process, the hope is that the operating costs of hospitals are reduced which then gives way to adding staff, increasing provider pay, and improving the way patients receive medical treatment when it is needed.

The Risk to Patient Care

Even though the shifts within the NHS and specifically the A&E space come from a good place, many are concerned the heavy focus on cost reduction will do little in the realm of patient care quality. A solicitor from a medical negligence firm that handles several accident and emergency claims each year explains that there are more factors to consider in the debate. In the last year, the rate of bed occupancies has reached an all-time high, and that results in delays across the board. Not only are current patients kept in the hospital longer than necessary due to lack of at-home or social care service availability, new patients in need of diagnosis and treatment are left waiting in the wings. Combining these issues with A&E closures means wait times for patients may not hit intended targets any time in the near future, putting patients’ health and well-being at unnecessary risk.

The rapid aging of the population and the increased number of patients seeking care each year are not easily solved issues for any country’s health care system. But the NHS’ focus on reduction of cost under the guise of improved medical care may not prove beneficial to patients in the long run. The A&E closures and downgrades currently taking place have the potential to help shift the population away from seeking urgent treatment for health issues that are less severe, but only time will tell if this transition will ultimately improve the experience patients have when utilising the health care system.

The number of Yemen cholera cases has passed 300,000 in the past 10 weeks, the International Committee of the Red Cross says.

The situation has continued to “spiral out of control”, with about 7,000 new cases every day, the ICRC warned.

According to the UN, more than 1,700 associated deaths have been reported,.

Yemen’s health, water and sanitation systems are collapsing after two years of conflict between pro-government forces and the rebel Houthi movement.

Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera.

Most of those infected will have no or mild symptoms but, in severe cases, the disease can kill within hours if left untreated.

Image source Al Jazeera

On June 24, the WHO declared that Yemen was facing “the worst cholera outbreak in the world”, with more than 200,000 suspected cases.

Yemen Cholera Outbreak: Number of Suspected Cases Exceeds 200,000

In just over two weeks, another 100,000 people have been infected – an increase the ICRC’s Middle East regional director Roberto Mardini called “disturbing”.

On July 8, the WHO said that 297,438 cases had been recorded, but the agency was still analyzing the latest figures from the Yemeni health ministry on Monday.

The outbreak has affected all but one of Yemen’s 23 provinces. The four most affected provinces – Sanaa, Hudaydah, Hajja and Amran – have reported almost half of the cases.

UN agencies say the outbreak is the direct consequence of the civil war, with 14.5 million people cut off from regular access to clean water and sanitation.

More than half of health facilities are no longer functioning, with almost 300 having been damaged or destroyed, and some 30,000 local health workers who are key to dealing with the outbreak have not been paid for 10 months.

Rising rates of malnutrition have weakened the health of vulnerable people – above all children under the age of 15 and the elderly – and made them more vulnerable to the disease.

Last week, the UN’s humanitarian co-ordinator in Yemen warned that humanitarian organizations had been forced to divert resources away from combating malnutrition to deal with the cholera outbreak, raising the risk of a famine.

The United Nations has warned that Yemen is now facing the worst cholera outbreak anywhere in the world.

A statement by UNICEF and the WHO says the number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen has exceeded 200,000.

So far more than 1,300 people have died – one quarter of them children – with the death toll expected to rise.

UNICEF and the WHO say they are doing everything they can to stop the outbreak from accelerating.

Image source Al Jazeera

“We are now facing the worst cholera outbreak in the world,” the statement says.

“In just two months, cholera has spread to almost every governorate of this war-torn country,” it says, with an estimated 5,000 new cases every day.

The country’s health, water and sanitation systems are collapsing after two years of war between government forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, and the rebel Houthi movement.

The Houthi rebels control much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

Hospitals are overcrowded and severe food shortages have led to widespread malnutrition, making Yemenis – especially children – even more vulnerable to cholera.

The UN says it is deploying rapid-response teams to go house-to-house telling people how to protect themselves by cleaning and storing drinking water. However, clean water is in short supply.

Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera.

Most of those infected will have no or mild symptoms but, in severe cases, the disease can kill within hours if left untreated.

The war has left 18.8 million of Yemen’s 28 million people needing humanitarian assistance and almost seven million on the brink of famine.


A blood test that could pick out which men with advanced prostate cancer would benefit from new drug treatment olaparib has been developed.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.

The new test detects cancer DNA in the blood, helping doctors check whether precision drugs are working.

However, larger studies involving more men needed to take place to confirm if doctors could rely on the test.

Blood samples from 49 men with advanced prostate cancer were collected by researchers, as part of the phase II clinical trial of olaparib.

This type of precision drug is seen as the future of cancer medicine but because it is a targeted treatment, the drug does not work for everyone.

Researchers from The Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust said the test could help target treatment better and also reduce its side effects.

They used the test to identify men who were not responding to the treatment in 4 to 8 weeks and also to pick up signs that the cancer was evolving and becoming resistant to the drugs.

Prof. Johann de Bono, consultant medical oncologist at the two organizations, said: “From these findings, we were able to develop a powerful, three-in-one test that could in future be used to help doctors select treatment, check whether it is working and monitor the cancer in the longer term.”

“Not only could the test have a major impact on treatment of prostate cancer, but it could also be adapted to open up the possibility of precision medicine to patients with other types of cancer,” he added.


Scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a drug that mimics sunlight to make the skin tan, with no damaging UV radiation involved.

According to researchers, the drug tricks the skin into producing the brown form of the pigment melanin in tests on skin samples and mice.

Evidence suggests the drug will work even on redheads, who normally just burn in the sun.

The team hopes the discovery could prevent skin cancer and even slow the appearance of ageing.

UV light makes the skin tan by causing damage.

Image source Pexels

This kicks off a chain of chemical reactions in the skin that ultimately leads to dark melanin – the body’s natural sun block – being made.

The drug is rubbed into the skin to skip the damage and kick-start the process of making melanin.

It is a markedly different approach to fake tan, which “paints” the skin without the protection from melanin, sun beds, which expose the skin to UV light or pills that claim to boost melanin production but still need UV light.

However, the team is not motivated by making a new cosmetic.

Tests, detailed in the journal Cell Reports, have shown the melanin produced by the drug was able to block harmful UV rays.

Eventually the scientists want to combine their drug with sun-cream to give maximum protection from solar radiation.

The way the drug works could also allow a ginger tan, as the genetic mutation that causes red hair and fair skin disrupts the normal process where UV light leads to dark melanin.

It is not yet clear if the drug might have the unintended consequence of affecting the glorious hair color, but it is thought the hair follicle is too deep in the skin for the drug to reach.

Anyway, whether you are ginger, blonde or brunette, the drug is not yet ready for commercial use.

The botulism outbreak in Sacramento, California, that left nine people hospitalized has been linked to cheese sauce sold on nacho crisps at a family-run petrol station.

Health officials have stopped Valley Oak Food and Fuel selling food.

Cases of botulism, a rare and sometimes fatal form of food poisoning, were first reported on May 5 and in total nine people are confirmed to have it.

Image source CBS News

One of the victims is reportedly so ill she cannot speak or keep her eyes open.

Dr. Oliva Kasirye of the Sacramento County Public Health Department told reporters that preliminary testing showed the cheese was carrying botulism.

The family of one of the affected patients has already filed a lawsuit against the petrol station, claiming neglect.

Botulism poisoning is caused by toxins released by a type of bacteria called Clostridium botulinum.

Human digestive processes cannot break down the toxic chemical, which moves to the nervous system. Symptoms emerge in adults 18-36 hours after eating contaminated food.

In this case, it is thought the nacho cheese sauce may have been canned. Tinned food is a risk for botulism because the bacterium grows best when there is no oxygen around.

In adults, symptoms – including difficulty walking or swallowing, impaired vision and potential convulsions or paralysis – will emerge between 18 and 36 hours after eating the contaminated food.

Depending on how quickly botulism is detected and how much of the bacterium has been swallowed, botulism may be treated with an anti-toxin drug.

An Ebola outbreak has been declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization (WHO) announces.

At least one person has died after contracting the Ebola virus in the DR Congo’s north-east, the WHO says.

Local health ministry had notified the WHO of a “lab-confirmed case” of Ebola, the WHO said on Twitter.

More than 11,000 people died in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa between 2014 and 2015, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The last outbreak of Ebola in the DR Congo was in 2014 and killed 42 people.

The case was confirmed from tests on nine people who came down with a hemorrhagic fever on or after April 22 in Bas-Uele province in the country’s far north, a health ministry statement said.

WHO Congo spokesman Eric Kabambi told Reuters: “It is in a very remote zone, very forested, so we are a little lucky. Bu we always take this very seriously.”


The world’s heaviest woman has lost 550lbs (250kg) after bariatric surgery in an Indian hospital.

Eman Abd El Aty’s family said she originally weighed 1,100lbs – and was unable to leave her home for 25 years.

The Egyptian underwent bariatric surgery at Mumbai’s Saifee hospital two months ago.

The hospital said Eman Abd El Aty could now fit into a wheelchair and sit up for longer periods of time.

The surgery was performed by a team of doctors led by bariatric surgeon Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala.

The hospital has released new pictures of Eman Abd El Aty following weight reduction surgery.

Image source Twitter

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is used as a last resort to treat people who are dangerously obese (having a BMI of 40 or above, or 35 with other obesity-related health conditions).

Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala said in a statement that Eman Abd El Aty continued to “rapidly” lose weight, but added that a stroke she had suffered as a child meant that she was still paralyzed on one side of her body and continued to suffer convulsions. She also has difficulty speaking and swallowing.

The statement added that the hospital was now waiting for Eman Abd El Aty to lose enough weight for her to be able to fit inside a CT scan machine to ascertain the cause of her stroke.

Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala said the next stage of her treatment involved putting her on a trial drug for obesity after six months. The hospital is currently attempting to procure the drug from a US based pharmaceutical company.

Eman Abd El Aty’s family says she weighed 11lb at birth and was diagnosed with elephantiasis, a condition in which body parts swell due to a parasitic infection.

By the time she was 11, her weight had risen sharply and she suffered a stroke which left her bedridden.

Eman Abd El Aty is cared for by her mother and sister.

Her weight loss means she may no longer be the heaviest woman alive.

The Guinness world records says the heaviest woman living is American Pauline Potter, who weighed 293.6 kg (643 lbs) when measured in July 2012.


Cutting out or reducing dairy food could be a “ticking time bomb” for young people’s bone health, UK’s National Osteoporosis Society (NOS) is warning.

A NOS survey found a fifth of under 25s are eliminating or reducing dairy in their diet.

The society said it was concerned many young adults were putting their health at risk by following eating fads.

Cutting out milk products entirely can be harmful unless the missed nutrients are replaced, it says.

The society surveyed 2,000 adults, including 239 under the age of 25 and 339 aged 25-35.

Almost 70% of those aged 18-35 year olds were currently or had previously been dieting.

Image source Flickr

One in five 18-25-year-olds said they had cut out or significantly reduced dairy in their diet, although the survey did not find out why.

Milk and dairy food, such as cheese and yoghurt, are important sources of calcium for strong bones.

The survey suggests that many young people seek dietary advice from bloggers and vloggers on the internet.

Although some of this advice can be good, it’s concerned some people become too restrictive about what they eat.

Dairy products are the main source of calcium – for example, milk, cheese and yoghurt.

Cow’s milk is the best source, but soya and almond milk may also contain calcium if they are fortified.

Skimmed and semi-skimmed milk contain more calcium than full fat cow’s milk.

Vegetables, nuts, seeds, boney fish and white flour products also contain calcium.

Choose low-fat cheese and yoghurt to cut down on fat intake, although crisps and biscuits contain much more fat.

For adults, 700mg of calcium per day is recommended but boys and girls between 11 and 18 need up to 1000mg.

According to experts, recommended levels can be achieved by eating three portions of dairy a day, such as cereal with milk, a yoghurt and a small chunk of cheddar cheese.


Researchers believe they have found a way to treat and perhaps reverse Parkinson’s disease, by making replacement cells to mend the damaged brain.

They say human brain cells can be coaxed to take over the job of the ones that are destroyed in Parkinson’s.

Tests in mice with Parkinson-like symptoms showed that the therapy appeared to ease the condition.

However, many more studies are needed before similar tests can begin in people.

Scientists say the research published in Nature Biotechnology is hugely promising, although at a very early stage.

They still have to check if the treatment is safe, and whether the converted cells, which started out in life as astrocytes, can truly function like the dopamine-producing neurons lost in Parkinson’s.

Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder and the most common movement disorder

People with Parkinson’s lack enough dopamine because some of the brain cells that make it have died.

It is not known what kills the cells, but this loss causes debilitating symptoms, such as tremor and difficulty in walking and moving.

Doctors can prescribe drugs to help manage the symptoms, but cannot treat the cause.

Researchers have been looking for ways to replace the damaged dopamine neurons by injecting new ones into the brain.

However, the international team who carried out the latest work used a different approach that does not require a cell transplant.

They used a cocktail of small molecules to reprogram cells already present in the brain.

When they mixed a sample of human astrocytes with the cocktail in their laboratory, they produced cells that closely resembled dopamine neurons, although not a perfect match.

Next, they gave the same cocktail to sick mice.

The treatment appeared to work, reprogramming their brain cells and lessening their Parkinson’s symptoms.


Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty, a 36-year-old Egyptian woman believed to be the world’s heaviest at 1,100lb, has undergone weight loss surgery at an Indian hospital.

A spokesperson at Mumbai’s Saifee Hospital said the patient had already lost 220lb since arriving in India in January.

The hospital said in a statement: “We are trying to get her fit enough to fly back to Egypt as soon as possible.”

Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty’s family said she had not left her house for 25 years until she came to Mumbai on a chartered plane.

Image source Twitter

The surgery was performed by a team of doctors led by bariatric surgeon, Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala.

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is used as a last resort to treat people who are dangerously obese (having a BMI of 40 or above or 35 plus other obesity-related health conditions).

Eman Abd El Aty’s family says she weighed 11lb at birth and was diagnosed with elephantiasis, a condition in which body parts swell due to a parasitic infection.

By the time she was 11, her weight had risen sharply and she suffered a stroke which left her bedridden.

She is cared for by her mother and sister.

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, is used as a last resort to treat people who are dangerously obese and carrying an excessive amount of body fat.